US20110098725A1 - Devices and methods for endolumenal weight loss treatments - Google Patents

Devices and methods for endolumenal weight loss treatments Download PDF

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US20110098725A1
US20110098725A1 US12/876,029 US87602910A US2011098725A1 US 20110098725 A1 US20110098725 A1 US 20110098725A1 US 87602910 A US87602910 A US 87602910A US 2011098725 A1 US2011098725 A1 US 2011098725A1
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tissue
stomach
fundus
folds
treatment method
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US12/876,029
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John A. Cox
Tracy D. Maahs
James White
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USGI Medical Inc
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USGI Medical Inc
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Priority claimed from US13/033,485 external-priority patent/US8906038B2/en
Publication of US20110098725A1 publication Critical patent/US20110098725A1/en
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Assigned to USGI MEDICAL, INC. reassignment USGI MEDICAL, INC. RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY, INC.
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F5/00Orthopaedic methods or devices for non-surgical treatment of bones or joints; Nursing devices; Anti-rape devices
    • A61F5/0003Apparatus for the treatment of obesity; Anti-eating devices
    • A61F5/0013Implantable devices or invasive measures
    • A61F5/0083Reducing the size of the stomach, e.g. gastroplasty
    • A61F5/0086Reducing the size of the stomach, e.g. gastroplasty using clamps, folding means or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0401Suture anchors, buttons or pledgets, i.e. means for attaching sutures to bone, cartilage or soft tissue; Instruments for applying or removing suture anchors
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0469Suturing instruments for use in minimally invasive surgery, e.g. endoscopic surgery
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0482Needle or suture guides
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
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    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0487Suture clamps, clips or locks, e.g. for replacing suture knots; Instruments for applying or removing suture clamps, clips or locks
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/00234Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery
    • A61B2017/00292Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery mounted on or guided by flexible, e.g. catheter-like, means
    • A61B2017/00296Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery mounted on or guided by flexible, e.g. catheter-like, means mounted on an endoscope
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61B17/00234Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery
    • A61B2017/00349Needle-like instruments having hook or barb-like gripping means, e.g. for grasping suture or tissue
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61B2017/00743Type of operation; Specification of treatment sites
    • A61B2017/00818Treatment of the gastro-intestinal system
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0401Suture anchors, buttons or pledgets, i.e. means for attaching sutures to bone, cartilage or soft tissue; Instruments for applying or removing suture anchors
    • A61B2017/0404Buttons
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    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0401Suture anchors, buttons or pledgets, i.e. means for attaching sutures to bone, cartilage or soft tissue; Instruments for applying or removing suture anchors
    • A61B2017/0409Instruments for applying suture anchors
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    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0401Suture anchors, buttons or pledgets, i.e. means for attaching sutures to bone, cartilage or soft tissue; Instruments for applying or removing suture anchors
    • A61B2017/0419H-fasteners
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0401Suture anchors, buttons or pledgets, i.e. means for attaching sutures to bone, cartilage or soft tissue; Instruments for applying or removing suture anchors
    • A61B2017/0464Suture anchors, buttons or pledgets, i.e. means for attaching sutures to bone, cartilage or soft tissue; Instruments for applying or removing suture anchors for soft tissue
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B2017/0496Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials for tensioning sutures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/06Needles ; Sutures; Needle-suture combinations; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B2017/06052Needle-suture combinations in which a suture is extending inside a hollow tubular needle, e.g. over the entire length of the needle

Abstract

Devices and methods for forming and securing tissue folds, elongated invaginations, and tissue appositions in stomach tissue are used as a treatment for obesity. In a first embodiment, a plurality of tissue folds is formed in the fundus region of the stomach. In a second embodiment, one or more elongated invaginations are formed in the body region and/or antrum of the stomach. In a third embodiment, a plurality of tissue folds is formed in the fundus region of the stomach and one or more elongated invaginations is formed in the body region and/or antrum of the stomach. In other embodiments, a plurality of tissue folds is formed in the fundus region of the stomach and one or more tissue appositions are formed in the body region and/or antrum of the stomach. Additional embodiments include various combinations of tissue folds, elongated invaginations, tissue appositions, and other reconfigurations of stomach tissue.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/239,709, filed on Sep. 3, 2009, the content of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety. This application also relates to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/038,487, filed on Mar. 21, 2008, and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/409,335, filed on Mar. 23, 2009, the content of each of which is incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The present disclosure pertains to devices and methods for the endolumenal treatment of obesity. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to devices and methods for endolumenally manipulating stomach tissue, forming and securing tissue folds, forming and securing tissue invaginations, forming and securing tissue appositions and tissue fold appositions, altering stomach tissue configuration, restricting the ability of stomach tissue to distend, altering the function of nerves located in or near stomach tissue, and/or altering hormone production from cells associated with stomach tissue.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that about two-thirds of adults—133.6 million people—in the U.S. are overweight or obese, while almost 5% of adults—15 million Americans—are considered extremely obese. Obese adults are at increased risk of type II diabetes, hypertension, stroke, certain cancers, and other dangerous conditions.
  • The NIH estimates that being overweight or obese leads to $117 billion in medical spending a year, with $61 billion in direct costs and $56 billion in indirect costs.
  • As obesity rates continue to rise, patients are increasingly seeking surgical weight loss options. Bariatric surgery aids weight loss by restricting food intake and, in some operations, altering the digestive process. The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Procedure (RYGBP) is the most commonly performed bariatric procedure, estimated to account for approximately 65% of weight loss surgeries performed in the U.S.
  • A study from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that the number of bariatric surgeries grew by 400 percent between 1998 and 2002. In 2007, an estimated 205,000 people with morbid obesity in the U.S. will have undergone bariatric surgery and these numbers are expected to grow. Only 1% of the clinically eligible population is currently being treated for morbid obesity through bariatric surgery.
  • A major retrospective study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that gastric bypass reduced the risk of death in extremely obese patients by over 40% by lowering the incidence of diabetes, coronary artery disease and cancer.
  • The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch out of a portion of the stomach and attaching it directly to the jejunum, bypassing a large part of the stomach and duodenum. The stomach is made very small to restrict the amount of food that can be consumed. The opening between the stomach pouch and the small intestine (called the stoma) is also made very small to slow the passage of food from the stomach. These restrictions help the patient feel full and limit the amount of food that can be eaten. In addition, by altering the path of the intestines, consumed food bypasses the duodenum so fat absorption is substantially reduced.
  • The RYGB procedure is performed either laparoscopically or in an open surgery. Alternative procedures for obtaining some or all of the benefits of bariatric surgery without requiring an open surgical or laparoscopic procedure would be preferred.
  • SUMMARY
  • In a first aspect, endolumenal treatment of obesity in a minimally invasive manner includes a number of methods and devices. The devices are introduced endolumenally (e.g., transorally, transanally, etc.) into the patient's body and into or around the gastrointestinal (“GI”) tract. Once the instruments are positioned within the stomach, tissue within the stomach is temporarily engaged or grasped and the engaged tissue is manipulated by a surgeon or practitioner from outside the patient's body.
  • In engaging, manipulating, and/or securing the tissue, various methods and devices may be implemented. For instance, tissue securement devices may be delivered and positioned via an endoscopic apparatus for contacting a tissue wall of the gastrointestinal (“GI”) lumen, creating one or more tissue folds, and deploying one or more tissue anchors through the tissue fold(s). The tissue anchor(s) may be disposed through the muscularis and/or serosa layers of the GI lumen. An endoscopic access assembly having an elongate body, a steerable distal portion, and multiple lumens defined therethrough may be advanced into a lumen per-orally and through the esophagus. A tissue manipulation assembly positioned at the distal end of a tubular body may be passed through the endoscopic assembly for engaging and securing the tissue.
  • Utilizing one or more of the instruments, the endoscopic access device may be used to pass the flexible body therethrough and into the stomach where it may be used to engage tissue and form folds, invaginations, tissue appositions, or other reconfigurations of tissue which are secured via expandable tissue anchors expelled from the tissue manipulation assembly. Any number of tissue folds, invaginations, and/or appositions i.e., one or more, may be created in a uniform pattern or randomly throughout the stomach interior such that the stomach volume is reduced, stomach tissue is inhibited from distention, and stomach nerve function and/or hormone production are altered.
  • In an embodiment, a delivery catheter is advanced through a patient's mouth and esophagus and into the patient's stomach, with the delivery catheter including a flexible tube having a needle at its distal end and with a first tissue anchor assembly being contained within the flexible tube of the delivery catheter. One or more instruments associated with the delivery catheter are used to form a first tissue fold in the tissue of the stomach fundus, the tissue fold including a fold in the muscularis and/or a serosa-to-serosa contact of tissue on the peritoneal surface of the stomach fundus. The needle of the delivery catheter is passed through the first tissue fold, and a first tissue anchor assembly is deployed from the delivery catheter through the first tissue fold to thereby secure the first tissue fold. A first plurality of additional tissue folds is also secured in the tissue of the stomach fundus. A first elongated invagination of tissue is then formed in the body region of the stomach extending generally from the fundus toward the antrum, with the first elongated invagination including an invagination of the muscularis layer and/or a serosa-to-serosa contact of tissue on the peritoneal surface of the stomach body region. A plurality of tissue anchor assemblies from the delivery catheter is deployed through the first elongated invagination of tissue to thereby secure the tissue.
  • In some embodiments, the first elongated invagination is located substantially on the anterior wall of the stomach body region. In other embodiments, the first elongated invagination is located substantially on the lateral wall of the stomach body region. In still other embodiments, a second elongated invagination is formed in the body region.
  • In alternative embodiments, various combinations of tissue folds, tissue invaginations, tissue appositions, and other tissue reconfigurations are formed and secured at selected regions of the fundus, body, and/or antrum of the stomach. The tissue folds, invaginations, appositions, and other reconfigurations have the effects of reducing stomach volume, inhibiting distention of stomach tissue, more effectively and more quickly force food down to the antrum, and/or favorably altering the nerve function and/or hormone production of stomach tissue to thereby creating signals of satiety.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a tissue anchor assembly.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a tissue anchor assembly securing a tissue fold.
  • FIG. 3 is an exploded view of a tissue anchor assembly delivery device.
  • FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a needle deployment assembly.
  • FIGS. 5A and 5B are perspective views of embodiments of endolumenal access systems.
  • FIG. 6 is an illustration of an endolumenal access system and tissue anchor delivery device advanced endolumenally into a stomach.
  • FIGS. 7A through 7C are side views of a tissue manipulation assembly and helical tissue engagement instrument engaging stomach tissue.
  • FIGS. 8A through 8J are illustrations showing a progression of an endolumenal obesity treatment procedure.
  • FIG. 9 is a schematic illustration of a stomach.
  • FIG. 10 is a schematic illustration of a stomach having a plurality of tissue folds formed in the fundus region of the stomach.
  • FIG. 10A is a schematic illustration taken along line A-A of a first embodiment of the stomach shown in FIG. 10.
  • FIG. 10B is a schematic illustration taken along line A-A of a second embodiment of the stomach shown in FIG. 10.
  • FIG. 11 is a schematic illustration of a stomach having an elongated invagination formed in the lateral body region of the stomach.
  • FIG. 11A is a schematic illustration taken along line A-A of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 12 is a schematic illustration of the exterior of the stomach shown in FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 13 is a schematic illustration of the exterior of a stomach with an elongated invagination formed in the anterior body region of the stomach.
  • FIG. 13A is a schematic illustration taken along line A-A of a first embodiment of the stomach shown in FIG. 13.
  • FIG. 13B is a schematic illustration taken along line A-A of a second embodiment of the stomach shown in FIG. 13.
  • FIG. 14 is a schematic illustration of a stomach having a plurality of tissue folds formed in the fundus region and an elongated invagination formed in the lateral body region of the stomach.
  • FIGS. 14A and 14B are schematic illustration taken along lines A-A and B-B, respectively, of FIG. 14.
  • FIGS. 15A and 15B are schematic illustrations of a stomach having a plurality of tissue folds formed in the fundus region and an elongated invagination formed in the anterior body region of the stomach.
  • FIG. 16A is a schematic illustration of a stomach having an elongated invagination formed in the antrum region of the stomach.
  • FIG. 16B is a schematic illustration of a stomach having plurality of tissue folds formed in the fundus region and an elongated invagination formed in the antrum region of the stomach.
  • FIGS. 17A-B are schematic illustrations showing a method of approximating opposing walls of a patient's gastric lumen.
  • FIGS. 18A-B are schematic illustrations showing a method of forming, securing, and approximating tissue folds on opposing walls of a patient's gastric lumen.
  • FIGS. 19A-B are side sectional and side views showing a method of approximating elongated invaginations formed on opposing walls of a patient's gastric lumen to form a gastric sleeve or pouch.
  • FIGS. 20A-B are side sectional and side views showing a method of approximating anterior and posterior segments of a patient's gastric lumen to form a plurality of tissue appositions in a generally staggered pattern near the outlet of the esophagus.
  • FIGS. 21A-B are side sectional and side views showing a method of approximating anterior and posterior segments of a patient's gastric lumen to form a plurality of tissue appositions in generally random locations.
  • FIGS. 22A-B are side sectional and side views showing a method of approximating anterior and posterior segments of a patient's gastric lumen to form a gastric sleeve or pouch and a plurality of tissue appositions in generally random locations.
  • FIGS. 23A-B are side sectional views showing a method of approximating portions of tissue in adjacent regions of a patient's gastric lumen to form a gastric restriction in the body region of the stomach.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Endolumenal surgical methods and devices are described herein. In several embodiments, the methods entail performing surgery through a patient's mouth or other natural orifices, reducing or eliminating the need for external incisions into the body. Operating through the body's natural orifices offers promise for faster healing times, less scarring and less pain which could lead to reduced hospitalization and quicker recovery.
  • In several embodiments, the endolumenal surgical procedures are performed using devices that have been developed by USGI Medical, Inc. of San Clemente, Calif. Several endoscopic access devices are described, for example, in the following United States patent applications:
  • TABLE 1
    US Pat. Appl. Ser. No. Filing Date
    10/346,709 Jan. 15, 2003
    10/458,060 Jun. 9, 2003
    10/797,485 Mar. 9, 2004
    11/129,513 May 13, 2005
    11/365,088 Feb. 28, 2006
    11/738,297 Apr. 20, 2007
    11/750,986 May 18, 2007
    12/061,591 Apr. 2, 2008
  • Several tissue manipulation and tissue anchor delivery devices are described in the following United States patent applications:
  • TABLE 2
    US Pat. Appl. Ser. No. Filing Date
    10/612,109 Jul. 1, 2003
    10/639,162 Aug. 11, 2003
    10/672,375 Sep. 26, 2003
    10/734,547 Dec. 12, 2003
    10/734,562 Dec. 12, 2003
    10/735,030 Dec. 12, 2003
    10/840,950 May 7, 2004
    10/955,245 Sep. 29, 2004
    11/070,863 Mar. 1, 2005
    12/486,578 Jun. 17, 2009
  • Endolumenal tissue grasping devices are described in several of the United States patent applications listed above, and in the following United States patent applications:
  • TABLE 3
    US Pat. Appl. Ser. No. Filing Date
    11/736,539 Apr. 17, 2007
    11/736,541 Apr. 17, 2007
  • Tissue anchors are described in several of the United States patent applications listed above, and in the following United States patent applications:
  • TABLE 4
    US Pat. Appl. Ser. No. Filing Date
    10/841,411 May 7, 2004
    11/404,423 Apr. 14, 2006
    11/773,933 Jul. 5, 2007
  • Each of the foregoing patent applications is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • Tissue Anchors and Delivery Devices and Methods
  • Several embodiments of the endolumenal surgical procedures described herein include the steps of grasping gastrointestinal (e.g., stomach) tissue to form a tissue fold and deploying or implanting a fold retaining device (e.g., a tissue anchor assembly) that is used to maintain the fold. For simplicity, the discussion herein will describe tissue anchor assemblies holding tissue folds, with it being understood that other portions or sections of tissue that do not constitute tissue folds are suitably retained by the tissue anchor assemblies. The following sections include descriptions of several embodiments of devices that are suitable for performing these and other endolumenal surgical procedures.
  • In several embodiments, a tissue anchor assembly is used to maintain a tissue fold in the gastrointestinal lumen. The preferred tissue anchor assemblies include tissue anchors such as those described in several of the United States patent applications incorporated by reference above, including Ser. Nos. 10/841,411, 11/404,423, and 11/773,933. A schematic representation of a suitable tissue anchor assembly is shown in FIG. 1.
  • Preferably, the tissue anchor assemblies include a pair of tissue anchors 50 a, 50 b slidably retained by a connecting member, such as a suture 60. A locking mechanism, such as a cinch 102, is also slidably retained on the suture 60. The cinch 102 is configured to be slidable on the suture 60 in only a single direction (one-way or uni-directional), in particular, toward the distal end of the suture. In this way, the cinch 102 is configured to provide a cinching force against the anchors 50 a, 50 b in order to impart a tension force on the suture. Accordingly, the tissue anchor assembly 100 is adapted to hold a fold of tissue, as shown in FIG. 2. In addition, as described below, the position of the cinch 102 on the suture 60 is able to be adjusted by the user during deployment of the tissue anchor assembly, thereby allowing the user to adjust the amount of tension force applied to the suture 60, and the amount of force that the anchors 50 a, 50 b impart to the tissue fold F.
  • In other embodiments, alternative tissue fasteners and/or other devices are used to secure, retain, and/or maintain tissue in a folded state, in apposition, or in another reconfigured state. For example, tissue fasteners such as staples, clips, rings, rivets, clamps, and other tissue fastening devices may be used to secure tissue in a reconfigured state, such as in a fold, in apposition with other tissue, or a combination of these. In still other embodiments, a suture or suture-like member is extended through tissue and secured in order to secure, retain, and/or maintain tissue in a folded, apposed, or other reconfigured state. For convenience, the descriptions herein will include details of the tissue anchor assemblies 100, with it being understood that alternative tissue fasteners are also suitable.
  • In several embodiments, a delivery device is used to deploy the tissue anchors and tissue anchor assemblies 100 endolumenally. An example of a suitable delivery device is shown in FIG. 3, and is described in more detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/070,846, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety (including all references cited therein) as if fully set forth herein. The delivery device 208 is described briefly below.
  • In manipulating tissue or creating tissue folds, a device having a distal end effector may be advanced endolumenally, e.g., transorally, transgastrically, etc., into the patient's body, e.g., the stomach. The tissue may be engaged or grasped and the engaged tissue may be manipulated by a surgeon or practitioner from outside the patient's body. Examples of creating and forming tissue plications are described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/955,245, filed Sep. 29, 2004, which is incorporated herein by reference, as well as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/735,030, filed Dec. 12, 2003, which is also incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • In engaging, manipulating, and/or securing the tissue, various methods and devices may be implemented. For instance, tissue securement devices may be delivered and positioned via an endoscopic apparatus for contacting a tissue wall of the gastrointestinal lumen, creating one or more tissue folds, and deploying one or more tissue anchors through the tissue fold(s). The tissue anchor(s) may be disposed through the muscularis and/or serosa layers of the gastrointestinal lumen.
  • The delivery device 208 shown in FIG. 3 generally comprises a tissue manipulation assembly 210 and a needle deployment assembly 260. The tissue manipulation assembly 210 includes a flexible catheter or tubular body 212 which is configured to be sufficiently flexible for advancement into a body lumen, e.g., transorally, percutaneously, laparoscopically, etc. The tubular body 212 is configured to be torqueable through various methods, e.g., utilizing a braided tubular construction, such that when a handle 216 is manipulated and/or rotated by a practitioner from outside the patient's body, the longitudinal and/or torquing force is transmitted along the body 212 such that the distal end of the body 212 is advanced, withdrawn, or rotated in a corresponding manner.
  • A tissue manipulation end effector 214 is located at the distal end of the tubular body 212 and is generally used to contact tissue and form tissue folds and/of to otherwise bring portions of tissue into apposition. The tissue manipulation end effector 214 is connected to the distal end of the tubular body 212 via a pivotable coupling 218. A lower jaw member 220 extends distally from the pivotable coupling 218 and an upper jaw member 222, in this example, is pivotably coupled to the lower jaw member 220 via a jaw pivot 226. The location of the jaw pivot 226 may be positioned at various locations along the lower jaw 220 depending upon a number of factors, e.g., the desired size of the “bite” or opening for accepting tissue between the jaw members, the amount of closing force between the jaw members, etc. One or both jaw members 220, 222 may also have a number of protrusions, projections, grasping teeth, textured surfaces, etc. on the surface or surfaces of the jaw members 220, 222 facing one another to facilitate the adherence of tissue between the jaw members 220, 222.
  • In other embodiments, such as those described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/955,245, which is incorporated by reference above, the tissue manipulation end effector 214 includes a lower extension member (or bail) and an upper extension member (or bail) in place of the lower jaw 220 and upper jaw 222. The upper and lower extension members may be provided in a substantially fixed, substantially parallel relationship to one another extending distally from the distal end of the tubular body 212, such that an open space is provided between the extension members that is sufficiently large enough to accommodate the drawing of multiple layers of tissue between the two members. In still other embodiments, one of the extension members (bails) is movable relative to the other.
  • A launch tube 228 extends from the handle 216, through the tubular body 212, and distally from the end of the tubular body 212 where a distal end of the launch tube 228 is pivotally connected to the upper jaw member 222 at a launch tube pivot 230. A distal portion of the launch tube 228 may be pivoted into position within a channel or groove defined in upper jaw member 222, to facilitate a low-profile configuration of tissue manipulation end effector 214. When articulated, either via the launch tube 228 or other mechanism, the jaw members 220, 222 may be urged into an open configuration to receive tissue in the opening between the jaw members 220, 222.
  • The launch tube 228 may be advanced from its proximal end at the handle 216 such that the portion of the launch tube 228 that extends distally from the body 212 is forced to rotate at a hinge or pivot 230 and reconfigure itself such that the exposed portion forms a curved or arcuate shape that positions the launch tube opening perpendicularly relative to the upper jaw member 222. The launch tube 228, or at least the exposed portion of the launch tube 228, may be fabricated from a highly flexible material or it may be fabricated, e.g., from Nitinol tubing material which is adapted to flex, e.g., via circumferential slots, to permit bending.
  • Once the tissue has been engaged between the jaw members 220, 222, a needle deployment assembly 260 is urged through the handle 216, though the tubular body 212, and out through the launch tube 228. The needle deployment assembly 260 may pass through the lower jaw member 220 via a needle assembly opening (not shown in the drawing) defined in the lower jaw member 220 to pierce through the grasped tissue. Once the needle deployment assembly has been passed through the engaged tissue, one or more tissue anchors of a tissue anchor assembly 100 (see FIG. 4) are deployed for securing the tissue, as described in further detail herein and in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/955,245, which has been incorporated by reference above.
  • FIG. 4 shows additional details relating to the needle deployment assembly 260. As mentioned above, a needle deployment assembly 260 may be deployed through the tissue manipulation assembly 210 by introducing the needle deployment assembly 260 into the handle 216 and through the tubular body 212, as shown in the assembly view of FIG. 3, such that the needle assembly 266 is advanced from the launch tube and into or through approximated tissue. Once the needle assembly 266 has been advanced through the tissue, the anchor assembly 100 may be deployed or ejected. The anchor assembly 100 is normally positioned within the distal portion of a tubular sheath 264 that extends from a needle assembly control or housing 262. Once the anchor assembly 100 has been fully deployed from the sheath 264, the spent needle deployment assembly 260 may be removed from the tissue manipulation assembly 210 and another needle deployment assembly may be introduced without having to remove the tissue manipulation assembly 210 from the patient. The length of the sheath 264 is such that it may be passed entirely through the length of the tubular body 212 to enable the deployment of the needle assembly 266 into and/or through the tissue.
  • The elongate and flexible sheath or catheter 264 extends removably from the needle assembly control or housing 262. The sheath or catheter 264 and the housing 262 may be interconnected via an interlock 270 which may be adapted to allow for the securement as well as the rapid release of the sheath 264 from the housing 262 through any number of fastening methods, e.g., threaded connection, press-fit, releasable pin, etc. The needle body 272, which may be configured into any one of the variations described above, extends from the distal end of the sheath 264 while maintaining communication between the lumen of the sheath 264 and the needle opening 274.
  • An elongate pusher 276 comprises a flexible wire or hypotube that is translationally disposed within the sheath 264 and movably connected within the housing 262. A proximally-located actuation member 278 is rotatably or otherwise connected to the housing 262 to selectively actuate the translational movement of the elongate pusher 276 relative to the sheath 264 for deploying the anchors from the needle opening 274. The tissue anchor assembly 100 is positioned distally of the elongate pusher 276 within the sheath 264 for deployment from the sheath 264. Needle assembly guides 280 protrude from the housing 262 for guidance through the locking mechanism described above.
  • In several embodiments, the delivery device 210 and needle deployment assembly 260 are advanced into the gastrointestinal lumen using an endolumenal access system such as those described in the United States patent applications referenced above in Table 1. Two embodiments of endolumenal access systems are shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B.
  • The endolumenal access systems 90 illustrated in FIGS. 5A and 5B each include a handle 92 having control mechanisms for controlling device functions, and a multi-lumen, steerable overtube 94 having several features that are described more fully in U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 11/750,986 and 12/061,591, which were incorporated by reference above.
  • Endolumenal Surgical Treatment of Obesity
  • Referring to FIG. 9, the anatomy of the stomach can be divided into different segments on the basis of the mucosal cell types in relation to external anatomical boundaries. The cardiac segment C is immediately subjacent to the gastroesophageal junction GEJ and is a transition zone of the esophageal squamous epithelium into the gastric mucosa. The fundus F is the portion of the stomach that extends above the gastroesophageal junction. The body B or corpus of the stomach extends from the fundus F to the incisura angularis on the lesser curvature of the stomach. The majority of parietal acid forming cells are present in this segment. The fundus F and the body B function as the main reservoir of ingested food. The antrum A extends from the lower border of the body B to the pyloric sphincter PS. The majority of gastrin producing or G-cells are present in the antral mucosa. The main blood supply is variable but typically courses from the celiac axis into the gastric and gastroepiploic arcades. Nutrient vessels to the stomach course from the vascular arcades of the greater and lesser curvatures. These vessels penetrate the gastric wall in a perpendicular fashion and arborize horizontally in a dense vascular plexus throughout the wall of the stomach. For the most part, gastric innervation is provided by the vagus nerves which form a plexus around the esophagus and then reform into vagal trunks above the esophageal hiatus. An extensive myenteric plexus is formed within the muscular wall of the stomach. Impulses from stretch or tension receptors within the gastric wall are transmitted to the nucleus tractus solitaris of the brain stem by afferent vagal fibers. These stretch/tension receptors within the fundus F and body B detect gastric distension or gastric pressure from ingested food.
  • The gastrointestinal lumen, including the stomach, includes four tissue layers, wherein the mucosa layer is the inner tissue layer followed by submucosa connective tissue, the muscularis layer and the serosa layer. When stapling or suturing from the peritoneal side of the GI tract, it is easier to gain access to the serosal layer. In endolumenal approaches to surgery, the mucosa layers are visualized, and the muscularis and serosal layers are difficult to access because they are only loosely adhered to the mucosal layer. In order to create a durable tissue fold or other approximation with suture or staples or some form of anchor, it is important to create a muscularis and/or serosa to serosa approximation. This is because the mucosa and submucosa connective tissue layers typically do not heal together in a way that can sustain the tensile loads imposed by normal movement of the stomach wall during ingestion and processing of food. In particular, folding the serosal layers in a way that they will heal together will form a durable tissue fold, plication, or elongated invagination. This problem of capturing the muscularis or serosa layers becomes particularly acute where it is desired to place an anchor or other apparatus transesophageally rather than intraoperatively, since care must be taken in piercing the tough stomach wall not to inadvertently puncture adjacent tissue or organs.
  • To treat obesity in a minimally invasive manner, a tissue manipulation and/or securement instrument is introduced per-orally through the patient's esophagus and into the stomach to perform a number of procedures. Alternatively, the instrument may be introduced transgastrically, percutaneously, etc., into the patient's body and into or around the stomach. Once the instrument is positioned within or adjacent to the stomach, tissue within or from the stomach is temporarily engaged or grasped and the engaged tissue is manipulated by a surgeon or practitioner from outside the patient's body. Examples of creating and forming tissue plications are described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/955,245, filed Sep. 29, 2004 as well as in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/735,030 filed Dec. 12, 2003, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • Various methods and devices are implemented to engage, manipulate, and/or secure the tissue. For instance, in some embodiments, tissue securement devices are delivered and positioned via an endoscopic apparatus for contacting a tissue wall of the gastrointestinal lumen, creating one or more tissue folds, and deploying one or more tissue anchors through the tissue fold(s). The tissue anchor(s) are disposed through the muscularis and/or serosa layers of the tissue. When manipulating and securing tissue within a patient's body, a separate elongate shaft having a tissue engager on or near the distal end of the shaft may be utilized in conjunction with a tissue manipulation assembly. Such an instrument is generally utilized in endolumenal procedures where the tools are delivered through an endoscopic device.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 6, one such example is shown in which an endoscopic assembly 10 is advanced into a patient's stomach S per-orally and through the esophagus E. The endoscopic assembly 10 includes an endoscopic device having a distal portion that is articulated and steered to position its distal end at a desired location within the stomach S. In some embodiments, the endoscopic assembly 10 is a flexible, steerable tube having a plurality of lumens extending therethrough. In other embodiments, the endoscopic assembly 10 is a flexible, steerable tube having one or more lumens extending therethrough, and also having the capability of shape-locking and/or rigidizing. In the latter embodiments, once located and configured, the assembly 10 may then be locked or rigidized to maintain its shape or configuration to allow for procedures to be performed on the tissue utilizing any number of tools delivered through the assembly 10. Shape-lockable or rigidizable assemblies 10 and variations thereof are described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/346,709 filed Jan. 15, 2003, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/734,562 filed Dec. 12, 2003, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/750,986 filed May 18, 2007, and others of the applications that are incorporated by reference above.
  • The endoscopic assembly 10 generally comprises an endoscopic body 12 having an articulatable distal portion 24. The endoscopic body 12 may define at least first and second lumens 26, 28, respectively, through the endoscopic body 12 through which one or more tools may be deployed into the stomach S. Additional lumens may be provided through the endoscopic body 12, such as a visualization lumen 30, through which an endoscope may be positioned to provide visualization of the region of tissue. Alternatively, an imager such as a CCD imager or optical fibers may be provided in lumen 30 to provide visualization. Advantageously, the endoscopic body 12 may be provided with a lumen or other member containing an interface capable of connecting to a source of insufflation, such as a conventional laparoscopic insufflator. An optional thin wall sheath may be disposed through the patient's mouth, esophagus E, and possibly past the gastroesophageal junction GEJ into the stomach S. The endoscopic body 12, having a covering 22 thereon, may be advanced through the esophagus E and into the stomach S while disposed in a flexible state.
  • The distal steerable portion 24 of the endoscopic body 12 is then articulated to an orientation, e.g., whereby the distal portion 24 facilitates engagement of tissue near and/or inferior to the patient's gastroesophageal junction GEJ. Accordingly, the distal steerable portion 24 may comprise a number of steering features, as described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 10/346,709, 10/734,562, and 11/750,986, incorporated above. In those embodiments having shape-locking or rigidizing capabilities, with the distal steerable portion 24 disposed in a desired configuration or orientation, the endoscopic body 12 may be reversibly shape-locked to a rigid state such that the endoscopic body 12 maintains its position within the stomach S. Various methods and apparatus for rigidizing endoscopic body 12 along its length are also described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 10/346,709, 10/734,562, and 10/346,709, incorporated above.
  • FIG. 6 further shows a tissue manipulation assembly 16 having been advanced through the first lumen 26 and a helical tissue engagement member 32 positioned upon a flexible shaft 34 advanced through the second lumen 28. The tissue wall of a body lumen, such as the stomach, typically comprises an inner mucosal layer, connective tissue, the muscularis layer and the serosa layer. To obtain a durable purchase, e.g., in performing a stomach reduction or stomach reconfiguration procedure, the helical tissue engagement member 32 is advanced into contact with the tissue and preferably engages the tissue F such that when the tissue engagement member 32 is pulled proximally to draw the engaged tissue F between the jaw members 18, 20 of tissue manipulation assembly 16, at least the muscularis tissue layer and the serosa layer is drawn into the tissue manipulation assembly 16. As the tissue manipulation assembly 16 may be utilized to grasp and secure the engaged tissue, any number of tools may be utilized with the tissue manipulation assembly 16, e.g., through the endoscopic body 12, to engage and manipulate the tissue of interest relative to the tissue manipulation assembly 16. For example, the tissue grasping devices described in U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 11/736,539 and 11/736,541, incorporated above, are suitable for engaging and manipulating tissue in order to draw a tissue fold between the jaw members 18, 20 of the tissue manipulation assembly 16. In some embodiments, a plurality of tissue engagement members 32, tissue grasping devices (such as those described in the foregoing applications), or combinations thereof are used in order to acquire a deeper bite of tissue, to acquire tissue that is presented at a non-optimal angle in relation to the distal end of the tissue manipulation assembly 16, and/or to prevent the tissue from sliding away from the tissue manipulation assembly 16 during deployment of the tissue anchor assembly. For simplicity, the embodiments described below will include descriptions of methods using a single helical tissue engagement member 32, with it being understood that other and/or a plurality of engagement devices are also suitable.
  • As described above, in some embodiments, the endoscopic body 12 is provided with a lumen or other member providing an interface with a source of insufflation, such as a conventional laparoscopic insufflator. In several of the embodiments described herein, the stomach is insufflated using CO2 at a minimum level, such as about 5 to about 8 mmHg. This level of insufflation is intended to provide sufficient visualization, while not causing the tissue to become taut and difficult to manipulate into folds.
  • An illustrative example of a tissue manipulation instrument which may be utilized for endolumenally accessing tissue is described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/070,863 filed Mar. 1, 2005 (US Pat. Pub. 2005/0251166 A1), which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Such an instrument assembly generally comprises a flexible catheter or tubular body 14 which may be configured to be sufficiently flexible for advancement into a body lumen, e.g., transorally, percutaneously, laparoscopically, etc. Tubular body 14 may be configured to be torqueable through various methods, e.g., utilizing a braided tubular construction, such that when a proximally-located handle is manipulated and/or rotated by a practitioner from outside the patient's body, the longitudinal and/or torquing force is transmitted along body 14 such that the distal end of body 14 is advanced, withdrawn, or rotated in a corresponding manner.
  • As shown in FIGS. 7A through 7C, the tissue manipulation assembly 16 is located at the distal end of the tubular body 14 and is generally used to contact and form tissue folds, as described above. The tissue manipulation assembly 16 may be connected to the distal end of the tubular body 14 via a pivotable coupling. The lower jaw member 18 extends distally from the pivotable coupling and the upper jaw member 20, in this example, may be pivotably coupled to the lower jaw member 18 via a jaw pivot. The location of the jaw pivot may be positioned at various locations along the lower jaw 18 depending upon a number of factors, e.g., the desired size of the “bite” or opening for accepting tissue between the jaw members, the amount of closing force between the jaw members, etc. One or both jaw members 18, 20 may also have a number of protrusions, projections, grasping teeth, textured surfaces, etc., on the surface or surfaces of the jaw members 18, 20 facing one another to facilitate the adherence of tissue between the jaw members 18, 20.
  • The launch tube 40 may extend from the handle, through the tubular body 14, and distally from the end of the tubular body 14 where a distal end of the launch tube 40 is pivotally connected to the upper jaw member 20 at a launch tube pivot. A distal portion of the launch tube 40 may be pivoted into position within a channel or groove defined in the upper jaw member 20, to facilitate a low-profile configuration of the tissue manipulation assembly 16. When articulated, either via the launch tube 40 or other mechanism, as described further below, the jaw members 18, 20 may be urged into an open configuration to receive tissue in the jaw opening between the jaw members 18, 20.
  • The launch tube 40 may be advanced from its proximal end at the handle such that the portion of the launch tube 38 that extends distally from body 14 is forced to rotate at a hinge or pivot and reconfigure itself such that the exposed portion forms a curved or arcuate shape that positions the launch tube opening to a position that is substantially perpendicular relative to the upper jaw member 20. The launch tube 40, or at least the exposed portion of the launch tube 38, may be fabricated from a highly flexible material or it may be fabricated, e.g., from Nitinol tubing material which is adapted to flex, e.g., via circumferential slots, to permit bending.
  • FIGS. 7A to 7C further illustrate one method for articulating a tissue manipulation assembly into an opened and closed configuration. As shown in FIG. 7A, the assembly may be delivered into a patient while in a low-profile configuration 40, e.g., trans-orally, trans-anally, percutaneously, through an endoscope, an endoscopic device, directly, etc., and desirably positioned relative to a tissue region of interest 36. In embodiments in which the endoscopic body 12 is shape-lockable or rigidizable, the endoscopic body 12 may be rigidized to maintain its configuration within the patient body. Alternatively, it may be left in a flexible state during the procedure.
  • The tissue region of interest 36 as well as the procedure may be visualized through the visualization lumen 30 or a separate imager. In either case, the tissue manipulation assembly 16 and the tissue engagement member 32 may be advanced distally out from the endoscopic body 12 through their respective lumens 26, 28. The tissue engagement member 32 may be advanced into contact against the tissue surface, as shown in FIG. 7A, and then rotated via its proximal handle until the tissue is engaged. The engaged tissue F may be pulled proximally relative to the endoscopic body 12 and the tissue manipulation assembly 16 may be actuated via its proximally located handle into an open expanded jaw configuration for receiving the engaged tissue F, as shown in FIG. 7B.
  • Once desirably positioned, the launch tube 40 may be urged proximally via its proximal end at the handle. Because of the jaw assembly pivot and the relative positioning of the upper jaw 20 along the lower jaw member 18 and the launch tube pivot along upper jaw member 20, the proximal movement of the launch tube 40 may effectively articulate the upper jaw 20 into an expanded jaw configuration, as shown in FIG. 7B. Proximally urging the launch tube 40 may also urge the lower jaw member 18 to pivot and form an angle relative to a longitudinal axis of the tubular body 14. The opening of the upper jaw 20 relative to the lower jaw 18 creates a jaw opening for grasping, receiving, and/or manipulating tissue. Moreover, the tissue manipulation assembly may also include a stop located adjacent to the jaw assembly pivot or within the pivot itself.
  • Once the launch tube 40 has been urged proximally, it may be locked into place thus locking the jaw configuration as well. Moreover, having the launch tube 40 articulate the jaw members 18, 20 in this manner eliminates the need for a separate jaw articulation and/or locking mechanism. Once the tissue has been pulled or manipulated between the jaw members 18, 20, the launch tube 40 may be pushed distally to actuate the jaw members 18, 20 into a closed, grasping configuration, as shown in FIG. 7C, for engagement with the tissue. As the launch tube 40 is urged distally through the elongate body 12, the lower jaw member 18 may be maintained at an angle relative to the tissue to further facilitate manipulation of the grasped tissue.
  • Although the launch tube 40 may be fabricated from different materials having differing flexibilities, it may also be fabricated from a single material, as mentioned above, where the flexible portion 38 may be configured, e.g., by slotting, to allow for bending of the launch tube 40 in a plane to form a single curved or arcuate section while the proximal rigid section may extend at least partially into the tubular body 14 to provide column strength to the launch tube 40 while it is urged distally upon the upper jaw member 20 and upon any tissue engaged thereby, as seen in the FIG. 7C.
  • Once the tissue has been engaged between the jaw members 18, 20, a needle assembly may be urged through the handle and out through the launch tube 40. The needle assembly may pass through the lower jaw member 18 via a needle assembly opening defined in the lower jaw member 18 to pierce through the gasped tissue. Once the needle assembly has been passed through the engaged tissue, one or more tissue anchors may be deployed for securing the tissue, as described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/955,245, which has been incorporated by reference above.
  • The tissue engagement member 32 may be retracted from the tissue F or it may be left within the tissue while the tissue manipulation assembly engages and secures the tissue F. The tissue engagement member 32 is shown as a tissue piercing helix or corkscrew structure upon a flexible shaft 34. The tissue engagement member 32 may be rotated about its longitudinal axis to engage the tissue of interest by rotating its handle located on the proximal end of the flexible shaft 34.
  • A distal portion of the shaft 34 proximal to the engagement member 32 (or the entire length or a majority of the length of the shaft 34 in other variations) may include a marked section 42, as shown in FIGS. 7A to 7C. The tissue engagement member 32 and the flexible shaft 34 are rotated about its longitudinal axis to advance the engagement member 32 into the tissue region of interest 36. Accordingly, the marked section 42 may comprise any number of markings, designs, patterns, projections, textures, etc., which acts to provide a visual indication to the user as to the translational movement, rotation, direction of rotation, etc., of the engagement member 32 and the shaft 34 relative to the tissue region 36 when viewed from outside the patient body laparoscopically or endolumenally, for instance, through the visual lumen 30.
  • Utilizing the instruments described above, various endolumenal obesity-related procedures may be performed. For example, FIGS. 8A-J show a process view of an obesity treatment procedure being performed on a stomach. The remaining anatomy, including portions of the stomach S, has been omitted only for clarity. The flexible body 14 and tissue manipulation assembly 16, described above, are advanced per-orally, through the esophagus E, and into the stomach. The endoscopic body 12 may be used to pass the flexible body 14 therethrough and into the stomach, as shown in the figure. In an alternative method (and for methods described below), the endoscopic body 12 may be omitted entirely and the flexible body 14 and tissue manipulation assembly 16 are passed directly into the stomach.
  • Turning to the series of FIGS. 8A-J, a tissue manipulation assembly 16 is inserted per-orally into a patient's stomach S in an obesity treatment procedure. (FIG. 8A). The tissue manipulation assembly 16 forms a tissue fold and secures the fold with a tissue anchor assembly. (FIG. 8B). The tissue manipulation assembly 16 forms and secures additional tissue folds that are substantially aligned in a first row extending through a portion of the fundus F. (FIGS. 8C-D). The tissue manipulation assembly 16 forms and secures additional tissue folds in a random pattern or in rows or other patterns in the fundus F, thereby reducing stomach volume and/or reducing the ability of the fundus F to stretch to accommodate food. (FIGS. 8E-F). The tissue manipulation assembly 16 forms and secures additional tissue, folds in random patterns or rows (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) on the mid-body B anterior and lateral inner walls of the stomach. (FIGS. 8G-H). The tissue manipulation assembly 16 forms and secures additional tissue folds in random patterns or rows extending from the posterior wall of the fundus F into the mid-body B posterior inner wall of the stomach. (FIGS. 8I-J). The antral region A is not substantially altered.
  • Once within the stomach, the tissue manipulation assembly 16 is used to create approximated folds of tissue that are secured via expandable tissue anchors 52 expelled from the tissue manipulation assembly 16, as described above. A plurality of tissue folds, i.e., one or more, are created in a desired pattern or randomly throughout the stomach or other portions of the gastrointestinal lumen. In several embodiments, the locations of the tissue folds are selected to provide desired results. For example, tissue folds formed in the region of the fundus F have the effects of immobilizing the fundus, reducing the amount of distension that occurs to thereby prevent the fundus from accommodating the influx of food, and/or inducing satiety. As an additional example, tissue folds formed on the anterior wall of the stomach near the location of the vagal nerve branch (anterior, major) and/or near the gastroesophageal junction have the effect of compressing the wall and changing the effectiveness of the nerve branch, thereby inducing satiety and/or loss of appetite. As a still further example, tissue folds formed in the mid-stomach region create a bumpy Magenstrasse-like effect—i.e. a “central road” or narrow path constituting a gastric canal through which food that enters the stomach S through the esophagus E is quickly passed through the stomach to the antrum A and out of the stomach through the pylorus. Still further, tissue folds formed in one or a plurality of regions of the stomach will have the effect of reducing stomach volume, thereby preventing the stomach from accommodating the influx of food and inducing satiety and/or loss of appetite. In still further examples, tissue folds formed in multiple regions of the stomach will provide combinations of the foregoing results.
  • FIGS. 8A-J illustrate an example of an endolumenal obesity treatment method that includes forming and securing a plurality of tissue folds that are substantially aligned in rows extending along the inner wall of the fundus F and the mid-body B of the stomach. In the embodiment shown, three rows of tissue folds are formed extending from the fundus F through the mid-body B of the stomach, e.g., posterior, lateral, and anterior. The number of tissue folds included within each row will vary according to the size of the stomach and other anatomical factors, but will usually include from 1 to about 10 or more tissue folds, and preferably from about 2 to about 5 tissue folds.
  • In other embodiments, tissue folds are formed and secured in other parts of the stomach, instead of or in addition to the plurality of rows of tissue folds shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 8A-J. For example, as discussed above, in some embodiments, in addition to the rows of tissue folds shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 8A-J, another plurality of tissue folds are formed and secured in the fundus F region of the stomach. In other embodiments, tissue folds are formed on the anterior wall of the stomach near the location of the vagal nerve branch (anterior, major). In other embodiments, various combinations of the foregoing tissue fold distributions are created. In still other embodiments, a plurality of tissue folds are formed in regular patterns (e.g., substantially aligned, zig-zag, circular, serpentine, or other geometric pattern) or random patterns distributed throughout one or more areas of the stomach (e.g., fundus, mid-body, antrum, greater curvature) or throughout multiple areas of the stomach.
  • FIGS. 10 through 15 illustrate several additional embodiments of methods for the endolumenal treatment of obesity. In each of the illustrated embodiments, the tissue folds and elongated invaginations are formed in the stomach tissue endolumenally using the flexible body 14 and tissue manipulation assembly 16 described above, or other suitable medical instruments. In several embodiments, the flexible body 14 and tissue manipulation assembly 16 are advanced per-orally, through the esophagus E, and into the stomach. In some of the embodiments, the endoscopic body 12 is used to pass the flexible body 14 therethrough and into the stomach. In alternative methods, the endoscopic body 12 is omitted entirely and the flexible body 14 and tissue manipulation assembly 16 are passed directly into the stomach.
  • In the examples illustrated in the Figures, a tissue fold 70 generally includes a portion of tissue in which at least the muscularis layer is raised relative to its immediately surrounding regions of tissue, and in some cases in which a serosa-to-serosa contact 72 (see FIG. 2) is formed on the external (peritoneal) surface of the stomach, such that the muscularis and/or serosal layers, once secured, will reform and/or heal together to form a durable, reconfigured region of tissue. A tissue fold 70 is typically secured using a single fastener, such as a staple, suture, tissue anchor assembly 100, or other device. In the examples, an elongated invagination 80 generally includes an elongated folded region of tissue in which at least the muscularis layer is raised relative to its immediately surrounding regions of tissue, and in some cases in which an elongated serosa-to-serosa line of contact 82 is formed on the external (peritoneal) surface of the stomach and a region of tissue 84 is substantially enclosed within the reconfigured stomach volume defined in part by the line of contact 82, such that the muscularis and/or serosal layers, once secured, will reform and/or heal together to form a durable, reconfigured region of tissue. An elongated invagination 80 is typically secured using a plurality of fasteners, substantially each adjacent pair of which is spaced apart by a distance no greater than that which will result in reformation of at least a substantial portion of the tissue region extending between the adjacent pair of fasteners. An elongated invagination 80 will typically have a length (i.e., length of the line of contact 82) of from about 0.5 cm up to about 30 cm or more, depending upon the size and shape of the stomach.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10 and 10A, a plurality of tissue folds 70 is formed in the fundus region F of the stomach. Each tissue fold 70 is secured by a tissue anchor assembly 100. The total number and locations of the tissue folds 70 that are formed and secured in the fundus region F will depend on the size and locations of the tissue folds and the size and shape of the fundus region F. Typically, a first tissue fold 70 a is formed near the gastroesophageal junction GEJ and is secured with a tissue anchor assembly 100. Then, additional tissue folds 70 are formed and secured in the region of the fundus F moving from the GEJ toward the body B region of the stomach. In some embodiments, the additional tissue folds 70 are arranged in rows or other patterns aligned with the first tissue fold 70 a. In other embodiments, the additional tissue folds 70 are arranged randomly throughout the fundus F.
  • In the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 10B, a plurality of tissue folds 70 a-j is formed in the fundus region F of the stomach. Each tissue fold 70 a-j is secured by a tissue anchor assembly 100. The location and orientation of each of the secured tissue folds is intended to optimize the degree to which the stomach volume is restricted and to reduce the amount that the tissue of the fundus is able to distend. For example, in the embodiment shown, the first tissue fold 70 a is formed and secured at a location that is approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the center of the fold to the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ). The first tissue fold 70 a generally lies on and is oriented along a line passing through the GEJ and the apex of the fundus and extending toward the greater curvature of the stomach. A second tissue fold 70 b and third tissue fold 70 c are also formed and secured by tissue anchor assemblies 100 at locations that generally lie on and are oriented along the line passing through the apex of the fundus toward the greater curvature of the stomach. The second tissue fold 70 b is centered at or near the apex of the fundus, which is typically located from about 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm from the center of the first tissue fold 70 a. The third tissue fold 70 c is centered at a location that is approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the center of the second tissue fold 70 b.
  • The fourth tissue fold 70 d and fifth tissue fold 70 e generally lie on and are oriented along a line that passes through the apex of the fundus and that is perpendicular to the line passing through the first tissue fold 70 a, second tissue fold 70 b, and third tissue fold 70 c. The fourth tissue fold 70 d is formed and secured by a tissue anchor assembly 100 at a location that is centered approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the apex of the fundus on the posterior side of the fundus. The fifth tissue fold 70 e is formed and secured by a tissue anchor assembly 100 at a location that is centered approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the apex of the fundus on the anterior side of the fundus.
  • The sixth tissue fold 70 f generally lies on and is oriented along the same line as the fourth tissue fold 70 d and fifth tissue fold 70 e. The sixth tissue fold 70 f is formed and secured by a tissue anchor assembly 100 at a location that is centered approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the center of the fifth tissue fold 70 e. This location may be within the fundus, or it may be along the anterior wall of the body of the stomach, depending'upon the size and shape of the stomach. In some embodiments, the sixth tissue fold 70 f provides an effective connection and transition point between the tissue folds 70 formed in the fundus region F of the stomach and one or more tissue folds, a ridge of tissue, or a tissue invagination formed on or along the anterior wall of the stomach, as described more fully below.
  • The seventh through tenth tissue folds 70 g-j are generally spaced equidistantly between the first tissue fold 70 a, fifth tissue fold 70 e, third tissue fold 70 c, and fourth tissue fold 70 d, as shown in FIG. 10B. The seventh through tenth tissue folds 70 g-j each generally lie on and is oriented along one of two perpendicular lines that intersect at the apex of the fundus and that are offset by about 45 degrees from the two perpendicular lines upon which the first through sixth tissue folds 70 a-f are located.
  • In other alternative embodiments, additional tissue folds 70 are formed and secured by tissue anchor assemblies at additional locations within the fundus region F of the stomach spaced between the foregoing identified locations. In still other embodiments, fewer tissue folds 70 are formed. For example, in a relatively smaller stomach, sufficient restriction may be achieved without including one or more of the seventh through tenth tissue folds 70 g-j, or by substituting one or more of the seventh through tenth tissue folds 70 g-j for one or more of the first through fifth tissue folds 70 a-e, or by including only a limited number (e.g., two, three, four, or five) of the tissue folds 70 a-j.
  • In an embodiment, the tissue folds 70 a-j are formed and secured in the fundus region F at the foregoing pre-determined locations and in a pre-determined sequence in order to optimize the capability of forming and securing tissue folds having a size and shape that produce the desired volume restriction and decreased ability for the fundus tissue to distend. The preferred methods include using certain portions of the stomach as landmarks for positioning and measuring. These include the GEJ, the incisura cardiaca, the apex of the fundus, the greater curvature, and the incisura angularis. In addition, the instruments used to manipulate tissue and deploy tissue anchors may be used to measure distance, where applicable and convenient. For example, in some embodiments, the jaw members 18, 20 of the tissue manipulation assembly 16 are able to open approximately 2.0 cm, a distance that may be used as a measurement for spacing between the targeted centers of adjacent tissue folds. In other embodiments, other endoscopic instruments are used to measure and maintain the desired distances between tissue folds. In still other embodiments, an electrocautery device is used to mark the locations at which tissue folds are to be formed prior to forming the tissue folds.
  • The pre-determined sequence includes first forming and securing the first tissue fold 70 a at its location measured in relation to the GEJ. This is followed by locating, forming, and then securing the second tissue fold 70 b, and then the third tissue fold 70 c generally along the line extending through and between the GEJ, the apex of the fundus, and toward the greater curvature of the stomach. In alternative embodiments, the order of forming the first, second, and third tissue folds 70 a-c may be altered at the discretion of the user. At this point, the first, second, and third tissue folds 70 a-c define a ridge of tissue extending through the center of the fundus F. In some embodiments, it is advantageous for the user to engage or grasp and pull up on the ridge with the tissue manipulation assembly 16 to create a “pocket” at the location of the fourth tissue fold 70 d, the “pocket” facilitating acquisition of tissue by the tissue engagement member 32 (or other suitable grasping instrument). The fourth tissue fold 70 d is then formed and secured. The tissue manipulation assembly 16 is then moved to the anterior side of the stomach, where the fifth and sixth tissue folds 70 e-f are located, formed, and secured. Finally, and optionally, the seventh through tenth tissue folds 70 g-j are located, formed, and secured.
  • As shown in FIGS. 10, 10A, and 10B, in comparison to the unaltered size and shape of the stomach illustrated in FIG. 9, the fundus region F after forming and securing the plurality of tissue folds 70 with tissue anchor assemblies 100 is substantially flattened and reduced in size. For example, in some embodiments, a sufficient number of tissue folds 70 having a sufficient size and shape profile are formed in the fundus region F that the entire fundus region F is flattened such that there is no part of the internal fundus tissue surface that extends substantially superior to (i.e., above the level of) the GEJ after the tissue folds 70 are formed. In other embodiments, a sufficient number of tissue folds 70 having a sufficient size and shape profile are formed in the fundus region F that the fundus region F is flattened such that at least about 75% of the internal fundus tissue surface does not extend substantially superior to the GEJ. In still other embodiments, a sufficient number of tissue folds 70 having a sufficient size and shape profile are formed in the fundus region F that the fundus region F is flattened such that at least about 50% of the internal fundus tissue surface does not extend substantially superior to the GEJ. The relative amount of the internal fundus tissue surface that extends superior to the GEJ, as discussed above, may be determined by positioning an endoscope in an antegrade orientation immediately inferior to the GEJ and viewing the fundus tissue peripherally.
  • As noted previously, the secured tissue folds 70 substantially restrict and reduce the amount of distention that occurs to thereby prevent the fundus F from accommodating the influx of food, and/or inducing satiety. For example, in several embodiments, a sufficient number of tissue folds 70 having a sufficient size and shape profile are formed in the tissue of the fundus region F such that the fundus tissue is substantially completely effaced. In other embodiments, a sufficient number of tissue folds 70 having a sufficient size and shape profile are formed in the tissue of the fundus region F such that the tissue in the fundus region F is 75% effaced. In still other embodiments, a sufficient number of tissue folds 70 having a sufficient size and shape profile are formed in the tissue of the fundus region F such that the tissue in the fundus region F is 50% effaced. Upon reconfiguration, the less distendable fundus F will “tug” on the GEJ as the stomach is filled with food to create a sensation of fullness, and will cause ingested food to be more quickly transported to the antrum region of the stomach and to the duodenum and the remaining portions of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Moreover, it is believed that the alteration of the stomach tissue in the fundus region F alters the production of Ghrelin, a prehormone that is produced predominantly in epithelial cells lining the fundus. Ghrelin is an important factor in the regulation of energy, and functions by increasing hunger through its action on hypothalamic feeding centers. Ghrelin also appears to suppress fat utilization in adipose tissue. By forming and securing tissue folds in the fundus, the fundus tissue is disrupted and heals in thickened ridges or pinches. The modified tissue will not produce Ghrelin at a normal rate, which has the effect of reducing a patient's feeling of hunger.
  • Turning next to FIGS. 11, 11A, and 12, there is shown a stomach S in which an elongated invagination 80 has been endolumenally formed and secured using a plurality of tissue anchor assemblies 100. In the embodiment shown, the elongated invagination 80 is a substantially continuous tissue fold extending longitudinally over the lateral body B of the stomach S from approximately the fundus F through the majority of the greater curvature GC. In another embodiment, illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 13A, the elongated invagination 80 is a substantially continuous tissue fold extending longitudinally over the anterior body B of the stomach S from approximately the fundus F through the majority of the greater curvature GC. In another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 16A, the elongated invagination 80 is a substantially continuous tissue fold extending longitudinally from a point located in the antrum region A into the distal portion of the body B of the stomach S. In still other embodiments, the elongated invagination 80 is discontinuous, or is relatively shorter in length. In still other embodiments, multiple longitudinally-directed elongated invaginations 80 and/or tissue folds 70 are formed in the posterior, lateral, and/or anterior wall of the body B of the stomach, of the antrum A of the stomach, and/or extending between the body B and the antrum A of the stomach.
  • The elongated invaginations have the effect of reducing the effective volume of the stomach, and of shaping the stomach interior into a substantially tubular form. The tubular form of the stomach causes food to be forced down to the antrum A region more efficiently and quickly, thereby creating signals of satiety in the patient.
  • Turning next to FIGS. 14, 14A, and 14B, there is shown an embodiment of an endolumenal obesity treatment including a combination of tissue folds 70 formed in the fundus region F and a longitudinal elongated invagination 80 formed in the lateral wall of the body region B of the stomach. Each of the tissue folds 70 in the fundus region F is secured using a tissue anchor assembly 100. The elongated invagination 80 is secured by a plurality of tissue anchor assemblies 100. In another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 15A and 15B, the elongated invagination 80 is formed in the anterior wall of the body region B. In yet another embodiment, shown in FIG. 16B, the elongated invagination 80 is formed in a region of the stomach extending from the proximal antrum A to the distal body B. In each embodiment, the tissue folds 70 and elongated invagination(s) 80 are formed endolumenally using instruments advanced through the esophagus E into the stomach S of the patient.
  • In several embodiments, the tissue folds 70 a-j formed and secured in the fundus region F in the manner described above in relation to FIG. 10B are combined with one or more tissue folds 70 or one or more elongated invaginations 80 formed and secured in the anterior wall of the body region B of the stomach, as shown and described above in relation to FIGS. 13 and 13A. In some embodiments, the anterior wall tissue folds 70 form a continuous ridge of tissue or an invagination 80, as shown in FIGS. 13 and 13A. In other embodiments, the anterior wall tissue folds 70 are discrete and/or non-continuous as shown, for example, in FIGS. 8A-J.
  • In an embodiment shown in FIG. 13B, after forming and securing a plurality of tissue folds 70 a-j in the fundus region F of the stomach, a plurality of anterior wall tissue folds 70 r, 70 s, and 70 t are formed along the anterior wall of the stomach body B. Each anterior wall tissue fold 70 r-t is secured by a tissue anchor assembly 100. The location and orientation of each of the secured anterior wall tissue folds is intended to optimize the degree to which the stomach volume is restricted and to reduce the amount that the tissue of the stomach body B is able to distend. For example, in the embodiment shown, the first anterior wall tissue fold 70 r is formed and secured at a location that is approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the center of the fold to the incisura angularis. The first anterior wall tissue fold 70 r generally lies on and is oriented along the line extending through the fourth, fifth, and sixth fundus tissue folds 70 d, 70 e, 70 f described above in relation to FIG. 10B, i.e., a line that passes through the apex of the fundus perpendicularly to the line that extends through the GEJ and the fundus apex. A second anterior wall tissue fold 70 s and third anterior wall tissue fold 70 t are also formed and secured by tissue anchor assemblies 100 at locations that generally lie on and are oriented along the same line as that for the first anterior wall tissue fold 70 r. The second anterior wall tissue fold 70 s is centered at a location that is approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the center of the first anterior wall tissue fold 70 r. The third anterior wall tissue fold 70 t is centered at a location that is approximately 1.5 cm to about 2.5 cm, and preferably about 2.0 cm, from the center of the second anterior wall tissue fold 70 s. Additional anterior wall tissue folds 70 may optionally be located, formed, and secured by additional tissue anchor assemblies 100 as desired. In an embodiment, additional anterior wall tissue folds 70 are provided at generally equally spaced intervals until a series of aligned anterior wall tissue folds intersects with the sixth fundus tissue fold 70 f described above in relation to FIG. 10B.
  • In an embodiment, the anterior wall tissue folds 70 r-t are formed and secured along the anterior wall of the stomach body B proceeding in a distal to proximal direction beginning near the incisura angularis.
  • Turning next to FIGS. 17A-B and 18A-B, in several embodiments of the endolumenal weight loss treatment methods described herein, tissue within the gastrointestinal lumen is reconfigured by bringing portions of tissue located in adjacent or opposed regions of the lumen into apposition, then securing the apposed portions of tissue using a tissue fastener or other securing element, such as one or more tissue anchor assemblies. Several methods for forming, securing, and approximating opposing tissue folds are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,520,884 and 7,744,613, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. For example, as shown in FIGS. 17A-B, a tissue anchor delivery mechanism is used to deploy a first anchor 50 a through the wall W of the stomach S at a first location L1, such that the first anchor 50 a engages the tissue from the peritoneal side of the stomach S. A second anchor 50 b of the tissue anchor assembly is then deployed through the wall W of the stomach S at a second location, L2, such that the second anchor 50 b also engages the tissue from the peritoneal side of the stomach S. The locations, L1 and L2, are spaced apart from each other by a distance that is sufficient to allow the tissue at the two locations to be reconfigured into a tissue apposition 110, as shown in FIG. 17B. For example, in some embodiments, the two tissue locations L1 and L2 are located on the anterior and posterior wall of the stomach, respectively. In other embodiments, the tissue regions L1 and L2 are located on a single wall of the stomach but are spaced apart a sufficient amount to form the apposition 110. The tissue regions L1 and L2 are reconfigured toward one another to form the apposition 110 by shortening the length of the suture 60 that extends between the two anchors 50 a, 50 b of the tissue anchor assembly, such as by using a locking mechanism such as a cinch 102 described above.
  • FIGS. 18A-B show an alternative method for forming an apposition 110. In the alternative method, a tissue anchor delivery mechanism is used to deploy a first anchor 50 a through a first tissue fold 70 a formed at a first location L1 of the stomach S. A second anchor 50 b is then deployed through a second tissue fold 70 b formed at a second location L2 of the stomach S. The first anchor 50 a and second anchor 50 b are deployed such that they are located on and engage the internal surface of the stomach, thereby forming the tissue folds 70 a and 70 b. A suture 60 extends between the two anchors 50 a, 50 b, and a locking mechanism, such as a cinch 102, is provided on the suture 60 so as to secure the anchor assembly in the manner described above. Once deployed, the first anchor 50 a and second anchor 50 b are caused to move toward one another by shortening the length of the suture 60, thereby causing the first and second tissue regions L1, L2 to reconfigure toward one another and to form an apposition 110.
  • Turning to FIGS. 19-23, several embodiments are shown in which pluralities of tissue appositions 110 are formed at locations of the stomach S to provide desired results. For example, in FIGS. 19A-B, a plurality of tissue anchor assemblies 100 are deployed to form a plurality of tissue appositions 110 within the stomach S. Each of the tissue appositions 110 includes a tissue fold formed from tissue from the anterior wall of the stomach that is brought into apposition with a tissue fold formed from tissue from the posterior wall of the stomach. In the embodiment shown, each of the pair of tissue folds forming each apposition 110 is located at substantially the same distance from the lesser curvature LC of the stomach and at substantially the same distance distal of the GEJ. Together, the plurality of appositions 110 creates a pair of opposed elongated invaginations 80 formed on the anterior and posterior walls of the stomach, respectively, and attached to each other by the plurality of tissue anchor assemblies 100 defining the appositions 110. Each of the elongated invaginations 80 extends substantially parallel to the lesser curvature LC, thereby defining a sleeve or pouch P extending inferior to the outlet of the esophagus E.
  • Turning next to FIGS. 20A-B, a plurality of individual tissue appositions 110 are formed in a discontinuous manner in the proximal portion of the stomach, near the outlet of the esophagus E. Preferably, at least a portion of the tissue appositions 110 are formed from opposed tissue regions on the anterior and posterior walls of the stomach. The tissue appositions 110 are shown in a substantially staggered spatial pattern that will allow ingested food to pass between individual tissue appositions 110, but that will tend to slow the progress of the food and/or cause the ingested food to accumulate near the GEJ, thereby inducing satiety. An alternative embodiment is shown in FIGS. 21A-B, in which the plurality of individual tissue appositions 110 are spaced substantially randomly throughout the stomach, thereby decreasing the effective volume of the stomach S and potentially slowing the progress of ingested food through the stomach S. Yet another alternative embodiment is shown in FIGS. 22A-B, which illustrate a plurality of tissue appositions 110 that incorporate the pouch-forming tissue appositions described above in relation to FIGS. 19A-B along with the randomly positioned tissue appositions described above in relation to FIGS. 21A-B. FIGS. 23A-B show another alternative embodiment that includes tissue appositions 110 formed from tissue folds 70 located in adjacent regions of the stomach S, with each of the tissue folds 70 lying generally within a single plane that is substantially parallel with and spaced distally from the outlet of the esophagus E. An endolumenal access system having a multi-lumen, steerable overtube 94 is used to provide access for a tissue manipulation assembly 16 used to deploy tissue anchor assemblies 100 comprising tissue anchors 50 a, 50 b and a suture 60. In FIG. 23B, the interconnected anchor assemblies 100 have been cinched together, thereby approximating the plurality of tissue folds 70 and providing the stomach S with an hourglass profile.
  • In several embodiments of the endolumenal weight loss treatment methods described herein, the tissue appositions 110 formed by the processes described above are used in combination with tissue folds 70 and/or tissue invaginations 80 described above. For example, in several embodiments, a plurality of tissue folds 70 are formed in the fundus region F of the stomach (as described above in relation to FIGS. 10, 10A, and 10B) such that the fundus region F is flattened and its ability to distend is substantially inhibited. In addition to the tissue folds 70 formed in the fundus region F, a plurality of tissue appositions 110 are also formed in the areas of the stomach that are not occupied by the tissue folds 70 in the fundus region F, as described above in relation to any one or more of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 17-23. In several other embodiments, a plurality of tissue folds 70 are formed in the fundus region F (as described above in relation to FIGS. 10, 10A, and 10B), and one or more elongated invaginations 80 are formed in other areas of the stomach according to the descriptions above in relation to any one or more of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 11-15. In addition to the tissue folds 70 and elongated invaginations 80, a plurality of tissue appositions 110 are also formed in the areas of the stomach that are not occupied by the tissue folds 70 and elongated invaginations 80, as described above in relation to any one or more of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 17-23.
  • The combination of tissue folds 70 formed in the fundus region F and tissue folds 70, elongated invaginations 80, and/or tissue appositions 110 formed in the body region B and/or antrum A provide a combination of the desirable effects described above for each of these stomach tissue alterations. Accordingly, the described methods include several embodiments, including all of the embodiments described herein as well as all combinations of each of those embodiments. Additional combinations of the therapeutic methods described herein will obtain similar results.
  • Although various illustrative embodiments are described above, it will be evident to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications are within the scope of the invention. It is intended in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications that fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (20)

1. An endolumenal treatment method, comprising:
advancing a tissue fastener deployment mechanism through a patient's mouth and esophagus and into the patient's stomach, the tissue fastener deployment mechanism including a first tissue fastener;
forming a first tissue fold in the tissue of the stomach fundus;
deploying the first tissue fastener from the tissue fastener deployment mechanism to thereby secure the first tissue fold;
securing a first plurality of additional tissue folds in the tissue of the stomach fundus;
approximating a first portion of tissue from a first location within the stomach and a second portion of tissue from a second location within the stomach; and
securing the first portion of tissue to the second portion of tissue to thereby form a first tissue apposition.
2. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the first portion of tissue is located substantially on the anterior wall of the stomach body region.
3. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 2, wherein the second portion of tissue is located substantially on the lateral wall of the stomach body region.
4. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 2, wherein the second portion of tissue is located substantially on the posterior wall of the stomach body region.
5. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 2, wherein the second portion of tissue is located substantially on the anterior wall of the stomach body region.
6. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the first portion of tissue is located substantially on the posterior wall of the stomach body region.
7. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 6, wherein the second portion of tissue is located substantially on the lateral wall of the stomach body region.
8. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 6, wherein the second portion of tissue is located substantially on the posterior wall of the stomach body region.
9. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the first portion of tissue is located substantially on the lateral wall of the stomach body region.
10. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 9, wherein the second portion of tissue is located substantially on the lateral wall of the stomach body region.
11. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the first tissue apposition comprises a first elongated invagination and a second elongated invagination that are approximated to define a gastric sleeve.
12. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, further comprising the step of forming a plurality of additional tissue appositions.
13. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 12, wherein the first tissue apposition and the plurality of additional tissue appositions define a generally staggered pattern located inferior to the opening of the patient's esophagus.
14. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 12, wherein the first tissue apposition and the plurality of additional tissue appositions are located at substantially random locations in the stomach.
15. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the step of securing a first plurality of additional tissue folds in the tissue of the stomach fundus comprises securing a sufficient number of additional tissue folds to reconfigure the fundus such that at least about 50% of the internal fundus tissue surface does not extend substantially superior to the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ).
16. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the step of securing a first plurality of additional tissue folds in the tissue of the stomach fundus comprises securing a sufficient number of additional tissue folds to reconfigure the fundus such that at least about 75% of the internal fundus tissue surface does not extend substantially superior to the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ).
17. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the step of securing a first plurality of additional tissue folds in the tissue of the stomach fundus comprises securing a sufficient number of additional tissue folds to reconfigure the fundus such that substantially all of the internal fundus tissue surface does not extend substantially superior to the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ).
18. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the step of securing a first plurality of additional tissue folds in the tissue of the stomach fundus comprises securing a sufficient number of additional tissue folds to reconfigure the fundus such that the tissue of the stomach fundus is at least 50% effaced.
19. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the step of securing a first plurality of additional tissue folds in the tissue of the stomach fundus comprises securing a sufficient number of additional tissue folds to reconfigure the fundus such that the tissue of the stomach fundus is at least 75% effaced.
20. The endolumenal treatment method of claim 1, wherein the step of securing a first plurality of additional tissue folds in the tissue of the stomach fundus comprises securing a sufficient number of additional tissue folds to reconfigure the fundus such that the tissue of the stomach fundus is substantially completely effaced.
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